Historical Figures

95. Patel tied the native states in a bundle!

Most of the 544 native states that remained in the Union of India were so weak and small in economic terms that they could not build even a small road with their own resources. Even in the big princely states, the system of governance was so old and medieval that it was not possible for the people to develop smoothly.

Therefore, Patel decided to form balanced administrative units by integrating the native states. This was not an easy task. Persuading the kings to take off their golden crowns and dazzling turbans, to renounce the high-rise palaces and to give up the unfettered right to rule over the oppressed subjects was a way of making the impossible possible. After the departure of the British, the smallest king had got arbitrary right to hang his innocent subjects. Why were the kings going to give up this right?

The kings had got the right to spend all the natural resources of their state and various taxes received from the subjects, who would have been ready to give up such a bowl filled with kheer?

Sardar Patel knew that a blow was required to be given to these kings. Fortunately the conditions in the country were favorable to Sardar Patel. The native states had come to India forever, they could not run away and go out. The Englishman who protected him had crossed the seven seas. Jinnah, who instigated the kings to revolt, was celebrating his victory in Pakistan. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was equally irritated by the names of native kings. Therefore, getting the crowns from the kings of 554 princely states became the ultimate goal of Patel's life.

Patel got information that there is a huge gold reserves in the princely state of Bastar. The Nizam of Hyderabad is buying this land on long term lease basis. Sardar picked up his bag the same day and left for Bastar with VP Menon. After settling from Bastar, Sardar Patel and VP Menon reached Orissa and prepared 23 kings of that region to be integrated into a province called Orissa.

After this Patel and Menon reached Nagpur and met 38 kings there. These were called salute states. Patel took the last salute from these states and they were also brought into the democratic system. After this Patel reached Kathiawar where there were 250 dwarf princely states. Patel also integrated these princely states.

Patel's next stop was Bombay. There he tied the princely states of South India in his bundle and came to Punjab. Patiala's treasury was empty, Sardar did not care. When the Raja of Faridkot refused, Patel moved the red pencil on the map of Faridkot and asked if he wanted?

The king trembled and agreed to obey Patel. Thus the kings were removed from their thrones and made ordinary human beings. India became the largest democracy in the world.